Eleanor Mae was born on June 16, 1935 in Chesley to parents William « Gordon » and Mary Eleanor (Corlett) Rae. It was also Father’s Day and severe thunderstorms moved through the area that resulted in a possible lightning strike of the Rae home that blew plaster off the walls. Eleanor was a true blessing. She joined older siblings Grant (1921) and Marion (1928). The Rae family mixed farmed on the 14h of Brant. Eleanor attended public school in Vesta before completing high school in Chesley.
In 1951 Eleanor’s life forever changed when she was introduced to one, Lloyd Ronald Krauter, at her sister, Marion’s wedding shower at the Louise Hall. It turned out that Lloyd and Marion’s husband, Murray, were neighbours, and Eleanor and Lloyd soon began to see more of one another. Although in love, Eleanor had dreams of her own and wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a qualified teacher before marrying. So following high school she attended Stratford’s Teacher College graduating in 1958. Lloyd wrote Eleanor every Wednesday, allowing her to receive the letters Friday and thus know what was to happen on the weekends when she was home. He always wrote the letters from the end of his lane, ending each one with « Well the mailman’s here now… » You might find this hard to believe but during their courtship, which lasted several years, Lloyd called Eleanor just twice. Yes, you read that right! Please remember that calls from Brant to Bentinck in those days were long distance, so give Lloyd some slack. 🙂 One call was to tell Eleanor that he was going to be late picking her up and the other was to inform her that his baseball game (which she was going to attend) was cancelled. Together they regularly enjoyed attending CKNX barn dances and the Chesley Movie Theatre. Although Eleanor was not fond of Westerns, she did enjoy the $0.25 ice cream. The couple were wed on July 30, 1960 at the Geneva Presbyterian manse with their wedding reception to follow at Eleanor’s border’s home at McCullough Lake.
Eleanor’s first teaching job was in Mooresburg, where she worked for a year. Amazingly enough, this was the first school that her mother, Mary, taught at as well. Such a small world! Eleanor then spent her second year teaching at McCullough Lake. She and Lloyd now called the 12th of Bentinck home where they mixed farmed together as well. An opportunity then arose for Eleanor to take a job closer to home in Malcolm. Here she taught for the next 10 years, until April of 1966 when she left teaching, as she was expecting their first child. Marie Eleanor arrived on June 12, 1966 and Eleanor soon settled into motherhood. During this time and in addition to caring for her young daughter, she was often seen helping Lloyd with the chores and farm work. However, she yearned to teach again, and so in the fall of 1967 Eleanor returned to teaching, but this time in a supply role. Over the next 24 years, Eleanor taught at Chesley Public, Elderslie but spent most of her time at Sullivan Central. Not only did she supply but she also covered a number of maternity and sick leaves as well, until her retirement in 1990.
Although Eleanor was a teacher by trade, farming was in her blood. She absolutely loved the farm and everything that went along with this lifestyle. Marie fondly recalls the average day at home for her mom. « She woke up early, around 6, and prepared our lunches (for Marie, Lloyd, their hired man and herself) before heading off to the barn to help Lloyd with milking by 7 a.m. Upon return, she prepared breakfast for them, and then it was off to school for her and Marie. Once home in the afternoon, she prepared a big meal (meat & potatoes) for the family in addition to usually helping Lloyd with tractor or farm work. She then helped milk again at 7 p.m., came in, got Marie to bed, cleaned up, prepared her school lesson for the following day, and then retired to bed. » Talk about exhausting. Eleanor continued this routine day-after-day for 30+ years. She was truly a remarkable woman.
Eleanor’s great-great-grandparents arrived in Canada with minimal belongings and one short-horn cow in the mid 1850’s, eventually settling in Brant Township. Amazingly enough, the genetic lineage of that animal still exists today on the Krauter farm. In addition to raising pigs, milking cows, and breeding Hereford’s (Lloyd’s cattle), Eleanor and family also had a short-horn herd. It should be no surprise that Eleanor enjoyed the spring months on the farm as it always meant the arrival of new life on the farm. When not helping with the animals she could usually be found driving a tractor. With the exception of spreading manure and seeding, Eleanor did every other tractor job around the farm. I am told she was also known to love mowing the lawn. An example of this was when on her 80th birthday she insisted she needed a new riding lawnmower. She continued this task until this past June. Sadly, Lloyd died suddenly in 1996. Although this was a major setback Eleanor still enjoyed the farming lifestyle and continued to care for the animals and farm the land, besides Marie, until just months ago.
As you might tell, Eleanor’s free time was minimal at best. As a girl, she was taught embroidery by her mother, and enjoyed and perfected this skill over the years. She was also well known for her jam and jelly creations, even regularly making tea jelly! Eleanor was also known for her delicious roast chicken dinners, a favourite of Marie’s. When not busy at home, Eleanor loved to get in her car and go out and visit family and friends. She always had an interest in what others had to say and was always truly engaged in the conversation. If she wasn’t able to visit in person, she would head to her old rotary phone, connect to her party line, which she now had to herself, and reconnect with those around her. She and Marie also travelled a bit, heading west and to California to visit family. C.K.N.X. playing in the background was a staple in the Krauter home and Eleanor kept up with current news by reading the newspaper regularly. In addition to the farm animals, she also enjoyed dogs fondly remembering her childhood dog Jigs, and then Marie’s babysitter Rip, as the dog often kept Marie company when Eleanor was busy around the farm.
Eleanor accomplished much in her life, but it was her personality and values that gained more of the attention. She had a beautiful heart and always thought of others first, often wanting to help them with their situations rather than herself. Eleanor was a strong, powerful, dedicated woman who was extremely hard working and never took anything for granted. Not only did she graciously give of her time and talents, particularly baking, but she always took a personal interest in how she could improve the lives of those around her. She instilled in Marie that we must always say « thank you » as we can’t do it alone. Interesting enough, it was only when Eleanor turned 80 that she decided she had enough life experience to start sharing advice with others. In recent years, she and Marie would end every day by reciting three things (big or small) that they were grateful for that day, always dwelling on the good in life rather than the bad. Sadly, many of us could benefit from this type of approach in our own lives. Thankfully, Eleanor’s genetics and strengths will continue to live on in Marie!
Eleanor passed away at home on the farm, on Sunday, August 2, 2020 in her 86th year.
Beloved mother of Marie Krauter. Eleanor will be fondly remembered by her many nieces, nephews, friends, former students, and family friend Steve Paterek. She was predeceased by her husband Lloyd (1996), sister Marion (Murray) Hastie, brother Grant (Iris) Sweiger, brothers-in-law Willard (Beatrice) Krauter, Gordon (Vera) Krauter, Milton Krauter, sister-in-law Irene (Orval) Subject and her parents Gordon and Mary (Corlett) Rae.
A graveside service celebrating and honouring Eleanor’s life will be held at the Chesley Cemetery on Friday, August 7, 2020 at 11 a.m. All are welcome!
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Chesley Hospital Foundation, Geneva Presbyterian Church or Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.
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Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Eleanor Krauter 2020..
Décès pour la Ville:Chesley, Province: Ontario